A study carried out by a German university determined that the mining software Coinhive, mines more than 1% of the blocks in the Monero network, generating around $ 250,000 per month.
The Technical University of Aachen (ARXIV), Germany, assessed for five weeks the execution of Monero in web mining. The study, called “Inquiring into browser-based crypto-technology” analyzed the business model behind web mining as an alternative to processing encrypted transactions with ASIC equipment and a possible new business model for digital portals. The study revealed that the activity makes a quarter of a million in just one month.
According to the section entitled “Discovering cryptocurrency explorer mining,” Coinhive software is the largest provider of web mining, being used in 75% of mining sites. This percentage corresponds to the fact that Coinhive is the software responsible for 1.18% of the blocks mined in the Monero network at the moment, with an average rate of 5.5M H / s per visitor. Data shows that 9 out of 10 web mining sites use Coinhive.
Furthermore, the research shows that 80% of the short links that lead to pages that use Coinhive belong to only ten users, a behavior comparable to the large mining groups that use mining equipment such as ASICs.
Coinhive works through web pages that use the computing power and energy of the visitor to process the transactions of the Monero network. Web mining is a phenomenon that caught the attention of a large group of web users since it could be considered as an alternative to advertising.
Web mining websites generally offer streaming services or file sharing, to ensure the visitors stay for extended periods. Still, this business model requires studies to know if it is viable, especially considering “the value stability ” of cryptocurrencies, as ARXIV states.
According to the study, it is unknown what is the “impact of the CPU-intensive miner on the performance of the website,” how the activity would affect “the battery life of a mobile device” or even “the visitor’s energy bill.” These variables, according to the report, could “be a big obstacle to be competitive” against advertising.
However, the software is used on several websites as a mechanism to generate income. But the website owners are not the only ones interested in web mining, as cybersecurity firms announced on multiple occasions that cybercriminals are moving from ransomware attacks to crypto jacking.